This month on Lend Me Your Ears, I interview Chris Allen, one of the most prolific songwriters in Northeast Ohio. A Lakewood native and a St. Ignatius graduate, Allen started to seriously write songs while attending Miami (OH) University where he met fellow musician Kevin Grasha. When Chris’ college band, Two Doors Down broke up, he and Grasha teamed up first as the Wendel Brothers where they added drummer, Miles Loretta to the lineup. After recording one album, the band moved from the Cincinnati area, rechristened themselves Rosavelt (yes, with the unique spelling) and headed to Northeast Ohio. Rosavelt released their debut album, Carp &Read More →

I am pleased and excited to report that the IRS has determined we are exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)3. This means donors can deduct contributions made to the Listen Project under IRC Section 170. Additionally, we are qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under Section 2055, 2106 or 2522. The IRS has classified the Listen Project as a public charity under IRC Section 509(a)(2). With this designation, the Listen Project can expand both our physical archives and our ability to promote NE Ohio music through educational programming. In the past, many of you haveRead More →

This month, we visit with Tom Jares, the founder and chief songwriter for the 1980s Cleveland band, the French Lenards. The French Lenards were a popular live act during their initial run from the early 1980s to the early 1990s and they are now back together writing, recording, performing live and releasing new music in the 21st century. Tom also discusses his tenure as a guitarist in the legendary Wild Giraffes as well as his post French Lenards band, King of Clubs/Coltrane Wreck. Featured songs: “Pulling Me Down” – The French Lenards from a demo tape released in 1984 “Rusty Old Cadillac” – The FrenchRead More →

Like many NE Ohio bands, it started with an ad in the Scene. William Russell Jones AKA Billy Russell was a songwriter/guitarist/vocalist in need of a band. Having suffered through the breakup of his marriage, Russell focused his energy into demoing his songs utilizing the home recording technology of the day – a four track Tascam cassette recorder, a Korg drum machine, a Casio keyboard along with his Peavy guitar and bass. In the 1980’s, well-before the advent of the Internet, there were only two ways to find musicians – word of mouth or an ad in the back of Scene magazine, the weekly “go to” publication thatRead More →